Chocolate City Hair Studio & Day Spa: A “Charmingly” Salon of Beauty in Southwest Philadelphia

Latasha Sampson, owner of Chocolate City Hair Studio, is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur operating in Southwest Philadelphia
Latasha Sampson, owner of Chocolate City Hair Studio, is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur operating in Southwest Philadelphia

It’s been eight years since this beautiful hair salon opened at 62nd Street and Woodland Avenue. This gorgeous hair salon does not go unnoticed. Its decor and interior aesthetics are of rare and striking colors.

Latasha Sampson is the sole proprietor of this sumptuous hair salon called Chocolate Hair City. She is from South Philadelphia and started with a smaller salon at S. 48th Street and Woodland Avenue before moving to this larger facility at S. 62nd and Woodland Avenue in 2011. She has been in the hair and beauty industry for over twenty-eight years. We recently interviewed her as part of the Paschalville Project (see below).

Latasha, a very energetic and busy woman, is a graduate of South Philadelphia Beauty Academy where she received eleven months of intensive training in cosmetology. When she opened this salon, she really wanted to give to the community something new and different. She assumed that the community should receive a quality service in a nice atmosphere.

After several failed attempts to get a loan from local banks, Latasha was introduced to Entrepreneur Works, a micro-lending agency in Philadelphia. She was able to receive technical assistance and a sizable loan which she used to enhance her business.

Latasha employs five part-time independent stylists. The salon offers a full service that ranges from manicure, pedicure, spa service, massage, and facial waxing. She also does braiding and weaving. In addition, she tries to help students enrolled in beauty schools in Philadelphia gain experience by hiring them at her salon. She trained a lot of people over the years, and most of them have their own salon now.

Latasha is an active user of social media and she estimates that 90% of her clientele comes from social media. She frequently offers promotions to appeal to clients and entice them to her salon. Latasha is dedicated to serving the community by providing good customer service with respect and courtesy, a philosophy that is evident in her slogan: “Treat people the way you want to be treated”. Latasha struggled to get where she is right now, so she has vowed to give back to her community by helping young people get the training and experience they need to excel in their work and perhaps one day open their own salon. Her advice to all the young people is: “ work hard to get where you want to be”.

In the future, Latasha would like to see an active Woodland Avenue business association where all small business owners on Woodland Avenue could gather to share ideas and engage in joint marketing efforts to promote the corridor. She would like to see more diversity in the mix of businesses along the corridor. She takes pride in her business and always makes sure to keep the sidewalk in front of her store clean. She encourages all businesses to do the same and urges the city to place more trash cans along the business corridor.

Latasha is a successful businesswoman and a true community asset. The next time you’re in her neighborhood stop by and say hello!

The Paschalville Partnership is a collaboration of organizations spearheaded by the Free Library of Philadelphia working to transform services for the community served by Paschalville Library, located in Southwest Philadelphia. Over the next year, the partnership is working with community members to make visible the primary building blocks for sustainable community development. The partnership’s work is grounded in the principles of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), which intentionally builds on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions.

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